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tv   BBC World News  PBS  May 19, 2010 5:30pm-6:00pm EDT

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funding for this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. and union bank. >> union bank has put its global expertise to work for a wide range of companies. what can we do for you? >> and now "bbc world news." fires ravage the capital of thailand, the siege of central bangkok is over, but the unrest spreads out to the pacific.
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the crash killed 96 of poland's believe, investigators release new evidence from their plans voice recorders. and suspected taliban militants attacked one of the largest and most heavily fortified u.s. bases in afghanistan. welcome to," broadcasting to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. coming up later, south korea says it is obvious the number 61 of its warships in march. new reports from both sides of the divide. and a different kind of motorway service. germany's solution to the pressure of life in the fast lane. >> the fight for control of central bangkok is now over, but the trouble has been spilling out of the city. a nighttime curfew is now in force in the capital of thailand
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and across a third of the country. leaders of the anti-government protests surrendered to troops storming the barricades. at the end of the blockade, it was followed by riots and arson attacks. it has inflamed anger in the prince of the country with reports of tension in the north. from bangkok, here is the report. >> it was a particular type of defiance. at 6:00 a.m., the protesters who held bangkok's new the army was coming, but they already made their decision to stay. a few hundred meters away, after two months of waiting and threatening, the military finally moved in. the hard core of the anti- government protesters knew what to do. but the troops did not take any chances. they advanced with a policy of shoot to kill. kill and injured many people,
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they did. it did not take long to break through the barricades. but there were not the only ones doing the shooting. these are the militia returned peaceful protests into urban warfare on the streets of bangkok. [shots being fired] >> the military are moving forward once again. they're going step by step and firing live rounds. >> as the deadly confrontation seemed unavoidable, an announcement was made on this stage. >> it is all over. go home, he said. the leaders had agreed to turn themselves in, to stop more bloodshed. in defeat as supporters are angry and frustrated, but they did what they were asked. within half an hour, the city
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center was deserted. they were gone. all most of them more. >> what began as a peaceful protest two months ago has ended like this. with the army being sent in, people being killed and injured, and the protest being broken up. many of those people went inside buildings. the leaders taken into police custody. but the resentment that created the situation in the first place is not gone away. it will be a long time before the deep divisions in thailand's society are healed. >> but even that calm did not last long. thailand's biggest shopping mall was said alive. militia clashed again with troops. the violence is far from burn itself out. bbc news, bangkok. >> russian and polish officials investigating the airplane crash killed the polish president, his
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wife, and dozens of other top officials last month say the crew had not received full training for flying the presidential aircraft. they also reveal that people who were not members of the crew had entered the cockpit before the disaster. here is the latest from moscow. >> these other flight recorders from the president's plane. for the first time being shown to the world's media. amongst the information now downloaded, a recording them at least one person, possibly a senior polish official, talking to the pilots in the cockpit about the weather. this will add to speculation the crash was the result of the pilots being pressurized to land despite warnings from air- traffic controllers that the weather was too bad. >> at today's news conference by top russian and polish
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investigators, there were other critical announcements. in particular, the pilots from the polish air force may not have been properly trained. they did not receive the same training as civilian pilots. they did not have access to flight simulators for this type of airplane, which are used to prepare pilots for emergencies. and there were not trained in how to work together as 18. >> the investigators are stressing that these are only preliminary findings, and they have not yet reached any firm conclusion. but it seems increasingly likely that this catastrophic crash was the result of pilot error brought on by pressure from vip passengers on board the plane. bbc news, moscow. >> scientists said the first oil from the gulf of mexico oil spill has entered an ocean current that could take it to florida and up the east coast of
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the united states. the european space agency said satellite images suggested oil could reach the coral reefs of the florida keys within six days. stock markets in europe and america have fallen amidst continuing worries about the debt of some eu countries and new rules in germany to limit financial speculation. earlier, the german chancellor, angela merkel, told parliament the hero was in jane -- was in danger and if it was not said, there would be consequences. plans to impose additional sanctions on iran have been criticized by brazil and turkey, which earlier this week negotiate deal with tehran to exchange some of its nuclear materials. in a joint letter to fellow members of the u.n. security council, brazil and turkey called for negotiations to be given a chance. nato-led troops in afghanistan have fought off an attack at the gap brit -- at the back room air base near the capital. several insurgents were killed. it is the second attack on nato
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forces in kabul in two days. it comes up to the taliban announced a spring offensive against the afghan government and foreign forces. here is the report from kabul. >> the afghan police are now out in force, surrounding the back from military base. they are its first line of defense. and leading the search for any remaining taliban. the insurgents launched their assault before dawn. the police and american troops chased one attacker into this garden. rather than be captured, he blew himself up. an eyewitness says. and this was their target. one of america's largest and most important of bases. the attackers stood little chance of getting inside, but their attempt sent out a strong and defiant message. this was their second strike in 24 hours.
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on tuesday morning, close to the afghan parliament in kabul, a suicide car bomb killed six foreign soldiers and 12 civilians. it was the worst bombing here for months. security really has been tightened up in and around kabul this year. but with the taliban threatening many more attacks against government and military targets, the people living here are afraid that this is going to be another bad summer. bbc news, kabul. >> the mexican president has arrived at the white house on an official state visit. he held talks with president obama and use the opportunity to renew his attack on arizonas controversial new immigration rule. that law gives the police the power to detain anyone suspected of being in the u.s. illegally. mr. obama also criticized the act. south korea is preparing for the release of the official report into the sinking of one of its warships in march. the independent instigation and to the loss is due out on
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thursday. 46 sailors died. for the first time, a south korean officials, the foreign minister, has gone on the record and blamed north korea, saying his -- it is obvious p'yongyang was responsible. in a special report, there is a report from both sides of it to militarize to some, i search of the true story. >> it was the first time that a south korean government minister was concerned with what everyone has been suspecting. >> you think it is obvious. >> the off-the-cuff remark by the foreign minister came hours before the government promised to announce the finding of an international team who had been investigating the tragedy. defective from the north living in south korea claimed to already have evidence of p'yongyang's involvement. a member of a north korean special unit trained to attack the south defected 10 years ago but has stayed in secret contact
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with army colleagues in the north. >> i am -- i made calls to the north about this incident and contacted 11 people. military people are allowed mobile phones. two of them said they were not sure. the other nine said it was done by the north. >> although in the north, i heard a different story from the officer in charge of the heavily fortified demilitarized zone which has divided the two countries since the end of the civil war, over 50 years ago. >> we have heard about the sunken ship and the rumors connecting it to us, but this is all speculation. our military position has not changed. we shall retaliate with force of the americans are south koreans cause any trouble. we shall fight back. >> although the regime of president kim jong il cannot feed its own people, it maintains a standing army of more than 1 million soldiers.
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its military posturing, missile tests, and refusal to rejoin the six-nation talks on ending its nuclear program have all antagonized the international community. north koreans were enraged when two years ago south korea stopped sending food aid. these are the reasons behind the recent attack. >> that incident was to get aid from the south. the usa also keeps asking the north to come to the six-nation talks. so it was also to show america that north korea is powerful and will not be bullied. i think this is ultimately what they wanted to express. >> but with north korea really commit what would amount to an act of war to try to win concessions? >> kim jong il and other leaders in the north understand the weakness of a free democratic society. the weakness of south korean society. so even if the north attacked
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the ship and the south wants to start a war, the population in general would oppose it. and i think the north has used this weakness. >> it is impossible to verify the lieutenant's claims, the people in seoul have been living for 50 years with the knowledge that weapons in the north are trained on them. it investigation now confirms the north. did sink the ship, the government in the south will have to think very carefully about how to respond. abc news, south korea. >> you're watching "bbc world news." still to come, a big boost for liddell plan. the world's smallest water lily is saved from extinction. -- a big boost for the smallest plant. in paris, the french cabinet has approved draft legislation to ban the muslim fell from public areas. the government is determined to send the text before parliament, but experts warn him might fall
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foul of european law. here's the report from paris. >> this is a fairly rare sight in france. but if the government gets its way, the face of belle will not be seen here at all. estimates of how many women regularly cover their faces in public very from only a few hundred to two thousand. in a country with europe's largest, mostly -- muslim minority, that does not seem like many. but the filth you may soon be find it in order to attend citizenship class is. >> the politicians are really a obsessed by this. even though it only affects the minority. when i hear liberty and quality, it is a big lie. i feel like i am in a dictatorship. >> but the prime minister argues that it is the veil, not the proposed ban depriving women of freedom. many muslims in france sympathize with that view.
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they say is long does not impose the veil. but they argue that a ban is unnecessary, and some say could be counterproductive because it might be seen as stigmatizing all muslims. >> i think from the outset it is quite a delicate subject, and there is no big reason which forces them to bring in restrictions or this sort of man in an area that is in serious danger of being challenged. people already voted to condemn the veil as a friend republican values, dignity, and quality. but critics say the move to ban it is aimed at pleasing far- right voters and distracting attention from economic problems. abc news, paris. -- bbc news, paris. >> this is "bbc world news." these are the top stories. a curfew is in place in bangkok -- in bangkok and a third of thailand amateur anti-government
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protests were crushed in the capital. russian investigators say some passengers were in the cockpit get the aircraft carrying the polish president moments before it crashed, killing all 96 people on board. the authorities in pakistan have ordered that facebook be blocked across the country after a page was set up encouraging users to post caricatures of the prophet mohammad. the depiction of it any prophet is prohibited in islam. here is more. >> someone did something thousand miles away on a facebook web site that invites people to draw in send in pictures of the prophet mohammad. web users in this internet cafe have all been told if they were facebook members that there now unable to access the popular site at all. a high court here has told all service providers to blocked facebook across the country with
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immediate effect. >> it is totally wrong the there is a group like this trying to hurt muslims. you should not just banned the whole of facebook. >> there have been many complaints to the lawyers to demanded facebook be banned remain pleased with the outcome. >> maybe they're not against the muslim community, but just the the way in which they are shown which is against the muslim community and against our prophet. >> but it has dismayed many here, particularly those that have been monitoring the government's action by cyberspace. >> there was something like this in early 2005, when they tried to sensor a web site and prevent access of offensive prophet mohammad caricatures.
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>> these feud sporadic protests in pakistan will also remind people of those once infamous and drawings. the new facebook case is the type we're likely to see time and again. you'll not find many people in pakistan who say they agree with competitions like this in which characters of the prophet mohammad are involved. but there is debate about how to handle things when issues like this arrived. many here are wondering if a site like bufacebook can be banned, what is next? >> kurdistan interim government has declared a state of emergency in delisle but following clashes between rival ethnic groups. and the clams its leader will be president until the end of next year despite a previous offer to hold elections this coming october. i mentioned something that conjures up images of young
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soldiers in the trenches, going over the top to almost certain death. now a team of british and french archaeologists have discovered new evidence about what it was like to be in the first world war trenches. our correspondent now reports. >> hour by hour, reminders of one terrible battle is surfacing from beneath this french cornfield. lines of flags now trace the network of trenches of which the soldiers tried to mount their attack. as the archaeologists does that the old front line. as you can see, the sandbags are held in place by these big in pickets. but they have been bent backwards by the force of the german shell, which has landed a summer in front of us and damage to this part of the change. then being repaired with chalk bag. the bottom, we have well- preserved timbres. this is the very surface that british soldiers in 1916 would have been walking on. >> of the dig is not without its risks. this morning, french explosives
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experts were called in to remove a number of live shells, and a mine rescue team is overseeing the thames to reach a network of deep tunnels which died beneath no-man's land. >> easy the battlefield mark dodd, and you cannot not be struck by how close the two sides were. the yellow side is the british frontline. the red flag marks the german front line. >> 57,000 british soldiers were killed or injured on the first day of the battle. the man who scrambled out of these changes were meant to minority who actually captured enemy territory. all-around, fragments of their daily lives. i discarded bayonet. hundreds of bullets fired at and gunfire. in one excavation, the dean of civic find the remains of a british secret weapon laws for nearly a century. >> it is effectively a gigantic flame thrower. here it is. that is is there. this is what it does. >> and was buried in the ground?
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>> that is right. they used two. they ordered four. two were lost. one of them we believe could still be inside this tunnel behind me. >> in a couple of weeks, the trenches will be reburied, the contents will set fresh light on lives knocked out the day in july. robert, bbc news. >> it is the latest attempt by religion to catch up with a fast pace of modern life. dozens of official churches have cropped up along germany's motorway network. it is a way to have peace in prayer away from the fast lane. our correspondent has been on the road to visit some of them. >> the audubon. it is more like a motor racing track and a motorway. many of the audubon's have no speed limit, but sometimes, even germans feel the need to slow
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down and stop. and not just to fill up with petrol or find a place to eat. on audubon night, halfway between berlin and munich, stance this place, one of 36 offical motorway charges in germany. they're like service stations. >> life is too fast, and i want to feel the quietness again. it is a chance for me to take out five minutes from the fast day to come back and find my roots and find jesus christ. >> normally, i drive 80,000 commuters a year. so this minute, and want to stop here because i want to pray here
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and to have a talk with god. >> many of the motorists to come here right down the reasons for stopping in the visitors' book. >> one man wanted to kill himself, and he wrote this in our visitors' book. call the police. they found him, then they could stop him. >> each year, germans drive more than 200 billion kilometers on the audubon. some motorists seem to spend half their lives in the fast lane. that is exactly why germany has graded this network of motorway churches, to provide some peace for body and for seoul. >> this motorway church on audubon number 3 in nuremberg is popular with laurie drivers like this one. >> it is a stressful job driving
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trucks. i am on the road three or four days a week. you have to find time to relax. so i tried to come to this church once a month to help find inner peace. >> in the middle ages, travelers and telegrams head way side chapels where they could stop and pray. today, germans have audubon churches, motorway rest stops for the spirit. bbc news, the german audubon. >> the world's smallest waterlily has been saved from extinction by a scientist at the world botanical gardens. 40 published a horticulturist solved the problem of growing the plant outside of their natural habitat and now plans to reintroduce the water lily to its original home in the hot springs of rwanda. our science correspondent has the story. >> the water lilies is the planet's oldest flowering plant.
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they have been around for 65 million years. but now, after all this time, some species are dying out. this is the world's largest water lily. it is taken just a few months to get to this size. that compared with the world's smallest waterlily. it is fully grown, and the leaves are just 1 centimeter wide. unlike its bigger brother, this water lily is not doing quite so well. >> two years ago, this delicate flume came extinct due to over exploitation of its habitat. luckily its seats were kept in storage and reduced to regrow the plant at the gardens. >> i feel very happy. i am relieved. they realize that it would not disappear forever. >> looks good. >> hear the gardens, scientists are working to reintroduce hundreds of endangered species. as climate change threatens food production, they say we may need
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some of these plants. >> if it fails, what is there to replace it? 80% of the world consumes, the food comes from natural species of crop plants. yet there 30 dozen edible plants known to man across the planet. >> so the salvation of lilies, great and small, could be an important step to our own survival. bbc news. >> just before we go, a reminder of the may news today. a curfew in place across the third of thailand up to the military cleared anti-government protesters from central bangkok. a lot more on that story on our website including a map of bangkok showing where the protests have been taking place. there's a feature explaining how thailand got into this crisis situation. >> hello and welcome. >> see the news unfold. see the top stories from around the globe and click to play video reports. go to to experience the in-depth reporting of bbc news online.
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watch the news unfold. >> funding for this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. and union bank. >> union bank has put its global expertise to work for a wide range of companies. what can we do for you? ♪ >> there is one stage at the
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